Acton Institute Powerblog

Can Capital Markets Be Moral?

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Can capital markets be moral? At The Veritas Forum at Cambridge University, Rev. Richard Higginson explains how we should rethink our capital system to avoid problems like the financial crisis.

His five part plan includes:

1. Rediscovering capital virtues like moderation and prudence,

2. Adopting sound policy like reducing debt and spreading risk,

3. Reviewing the purposes and scrutinizing the practices of banking by a reputable international body,

4. Continuing to invest and give as a sign of hope, and

5. Considering long-term investments in ethical enterprises rather than simply maximizing short-term gain

Joe Carter Joe Carter is a Senior Editor at the Acton Institute. Joe also serves as an editor at the The Gospel Coalition, a communications specialist for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and as an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. He is the editor of the NIV Lifehacks Bible and co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicator (Crossway).


  • Jeff

    Capital markets can’t be moral, only people can be moral. People are agents. Markets are exchange places. A place cannot be moral; it simply is.

    • Jump

      Jeff, true,the morality of markets is derivative upon the actions of moral agents (and on some views, only on the agents themselves) but that’s a bit pedantic as criticism, don’t you think? It’s just a manner of speaking, and we could alter that pretty easily. We talk about the morality of war, or of capital punishment or what have you, but what we mean is the morality of the people and actions involved. So talk of the morality of capital markets is just shorthand for talk of the morality of the kinds of human interactions that are essential to the existence of capital markets.